Writing content can feel like an uphill struggle at times. Thankfully, there are plenty of blogging tools that will help writers ignite their creativity on harder days and keep them productive. Let’s face it, whatever makes writing easier and more pleasant is always worth utilizing.
That’s why I want to guide you through the whole process of creating content with the use of apps and tools that I find helpful in my role as content writer at LiveChat.
Looking for the right keywords
Before you start creating content you should think about a keyword to optimize your post for. This way people will find what you wrote more easily.
When I started my blogging adventure at LiveChat, I used Google AdWords to find out what people are looking for in Google. The tool wasn’t very precise and it turned out that the related keywords very often were unrelated.
Fortunately, some time ago I was lucky to get SEO lessons. My content team and I got introduced to some new tools that would help us when looking for keywords. My personal favorite is SEMRush.
The first thing that comes to my mind when comparing the features of AdWords versus SEMRush is that keywords statistics in AdWords may be inflated to appear more attractive. I compared the same keywords and some of them that had high search statistics in Adwords are not even present in SEMRush. I think it’s all to make people buy ads in AdWords. Because of that and thanks to many other features, I stick with SEMRush.
So how does my workflow look? At the beginning, I look for the right keyword by checking its volume metric. Before I decide to go with a particular keyword, I can check the strength of the other domains positioned for this keyword. I can see if my article has any chance to overtake the others in the search results. Once I choose the best fit, I also write down related keywords I should use in the article. And all of this can be checked in SEMRush. How convenient!
Creating a title
When it comes to creating a title I was working with a “cheat sheet” for writing blog posts that go viral. Since it didn’t work out for me (just kidding) I decided to try something else.
BlogAbout by Impact is a blog title generator. It helps me create titles based on the subject the post is about. This is an interesting tool because it lets me ignite my own creativity and come up with new ideas.
Here’s how it works. You enter a broad topic that you want to write about. The topic stays on the top of the screen. Then BlogAbout generates titles with blanks for you to fill in your keywords. Once you create a title you like, you can save it to a list that you can have emailed.
I always analyze the headline I come up with. To do that I use the Advanced Marketing Institute’s headline analyzer. This free tool will analyze your headline to determine the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score. I modify my title until I reach a high score. I believe people will read, relate and remember content that evoke emotions. And that’s what I try to do.
Writing a draft
There’s nothing better for a writer than a clean sheet to write on. But I also like when all of my ideas are in one place and I have easy access to them. This is what Evernote provides.
It’s great for bloggers and even for writing a book. In the left sidebar, in a fairly and transparent way, you can divide your book into parts, sections and subsections. Evernote is integrated with Gmail contacts which is convenient when you want to share notes with others.
Another app I can recommend is Ommwriter, which works on Windows, Mac, and iPad. In case you don’t like to work in complete silence, you can turn on ambient sounds in the background. What can be tempting for some people is that this app has typing sounds. You can feel like a true writer (in case you don’t). It can do wonders for creativity.
Editing and correcting a post
I always use Google Docs for collaborative content editing. Google Docs allows you to share a document with anyone quickly. While reading, colleagues on my team can add comments to my content and correct mistakes, which I can easily accept.
When I need a quick correction and there’s nobody available in the company, I send my article to Draft. Draft has a magical “Ask a Professional” button. One click, and you can send whatever you’re working on to reviewers who can suggest changes and edits. You can choose how long you want the reviewers to work on your piece. You have two options: 15 or 45 minutes. Obviously they have different prices.
There are lots of websites that provide free images and videos for your posts. I recommend Pixabay. It’s a great site with quality images, vectors, and videos. There’s no need to register in order to download them. You can search images by name and filter by image type (photo, clipart or vector) and orientation (landscape or portrait). Once you find the perfect one, be sure to give credit to the author.
I personally like to work with our graphic designer. We mostly use personalized and unique graphics on our blog. Although it’s not always easy to come up with a new idea of a graphic, it’s definitely worth the effort.
Blogging tools for promotion
Sharing links to your content on Twitter, Facebook and G+ is a minimum. The real promotion starts when you create relationships with your potential readers. This is what BuzzSumo helps me with.
Through this tool I search for Twitter influencers I can reach out to. If you’ve been wondering how to use Twitter for business, the answer is: to create relationships. Not to gain new followers. These followers too often don’t engage in your posts, so what’s the use in them? The real engagement happens when you create a connection.
In BuzzSumo, I also check backlinks to my posts so I can visit a website and find out what somebody wrote about my article.
If you want to promote yourself more, and keep up to date with everything that is written online about you or your company, Mention is worth a look. With Mention you can monitor anything on the web and social media in real time.
If you work in a team it’s crucial you plan your publishing in advance. This way you avoid disputes about who publishes when. You’ll also stick to deadlines and publish regularly.
My team and I use CoSchedule. We have our articles planned for a few months in advance. We also share our Schedule with people who are responsible for sending LiveChat updates to our customers. We keep to our schedules and try to send emails to our customers on different days.
How have you solved your blogging bugbears?
I’m curious what apps and tools you use that make your content production and promotion work a bit easier. Share them in the comment section below. If you still haven’t found the blogging tools you need, check out GetApp’s ranking of the top 25 content marketing software leaders.
About the author
Olga Kolodynska is a Content Writer for LiveChat. She’s responsible for preparing articles and monthly newsletters. If she’s not working on her newest post, she’s probably hiking somewhere in the Polish mountains. You can read more of Olga’s articles here.